Looking for a Quiet Performance Tire?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

A common complaint from many performance tire owners relates to noise. More specifically, the increase in noise over the life of the tires as they wear. The traditional directional tread patterns do have a propensity to get louder as they wear. This can really become an issue if uneven wear is introduced into the equation. Since directional tires can only be rotated front-to-rear, getting even wear can become problematic. In the case of staggered set-ups, even wear can only be achieved in the dreams of tire engineers.  

Example of highly directional tread pattern
Sumitomo HTR Z II
Example of an asymmetric tread pattern
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


The driving force behind the asymmetric pattern being explored seriously was due to Europe having phased in new stricter noise standards over the past few years. If interested, you can find out about this mandate by reading "United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (U.N.E.C.E.)."

The directional tire design, with its V-shaped pattern to pump water out of the way, was presenting challenges in meeting these new standards. A solution was found with the asymmetric design. An asymmetric tread pattern blends the different traction elements with different patterns across the face of the tread. The outboard side consists of larger tread blocks or ribs for dry road cornering capability and increased contact patch, while the inner half tends to feature small independent tread blocks for wet conditions for summer tires and wet and snowy conditions in the case of all-seasons. 

An attractive added benefit to the asymmetric design is the ability for multiple tire rotation patterns instead of the restrictive front-to-back with directional tires. On a staggered car, you can go side-to-side to try and help with uneven wear issues that are very common on those set-ups. In summary, the asymmetric pattern is meeting and exceeding the traction levels of the directional patterns, while also hitting the lower noise targets, and allowing better rotation schemes.

To learn more on how to properly rotate your tires, read "Tire Rotation Instructions."

Tire Alternatives and Options for Your 2009 and Newer Honda Fit Sport

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Time for new tires on your beloved Honda Fit Sport? The Original Equipment size of 185/55R16 offered two options, the Bridgestone Turanza EL470 and Dunlop SP Sport 7000 A/S. Regrettably, but not all that unusual for Original Equipment, they do not fare that well in our customer survey results. Looking for some other options? Then consider changing the tire size to 205/50R16. This size is only .1" taller and about 3/4" wider than the original tire. It will mount onto the factory wheel and fit without rubbing or other fitment issues.

In this alternate size you will find many options from all-season tires to summer performance tires. To learn about the different performance categories tires fall in and find the one that's right for you, read "What Tire Performance Category Do I Need?

General Altimax HP
General AltiMAX
HP
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact
DWS
Fuzion Touring
Fuzion
Touring


General AltiMAX HP  

A long-time favorite, this Grand Touring All-Season tire features a directional pattern for better wet grip and comes with a 55,000-mile treadlife warranty. It was developed to be a smarter tire for smarter drivers by addressing many of the treadwear quality and year-round traction challenges faced by drivers of today's sedans and coupes. This tires is a great bang for your buck!

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

The ExtremeContact DWS is for the Honda Fit Sport owner who's more of a spirited driver. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tires is currently ranked first in its category and delivers very good winter traction.

ExtremeContact DWS tires feature Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have worn away, the remaining "D" shows the tire only has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions.

Fuzion Touring  

For the value minded customer, this is a quality product from Bridgestone. This affordably priced tire is designed to blend good treadwear, a quiet ride and all-season traction on dry and wet roads, as well as in light snow.

To view more options available for your Honda Fit Sport, shop by size.

Searching for the Best All-Season Tire for Snow

Friday, November 22, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Some drivers have already experienced winter conditions this year, while for others, winter is quickly approaching. In fact, we've already had snow here in Indiana and more is on the way this weekend. The all-season tires you've been nursing along aren't going to cut it once the roads are covered with snow and ice. While nothing beats driving in the snow on a set of dedicated winter / snow tires, if you are only going to get new all-seasons or live in an area that has a mild winter, take a look at the following options.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus
Technology
Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy
MXV4


We took some all-season tires to Sweden to see how they would handle roads covered in ice and snow. The Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology and Michelin Primacy MXV4 proved to not only be formidable competitors in the wet, dry and road manners testing, they exhibited good snow and ice traction. While tire designs can involve a lot of give and take, these two seemed to stand out.

PureContact with EcoPlus Technology's tread pattern features Tuned Performance Indicators - visible letters molded into the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's potential performance in different weather conditions. A visible "DWS" lets drivers know the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire is appropriate for dry conditions only.

The Primacy MXV4 features an all-season tread compound molded into a symmetric design that combines notched shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs. Its Active Sipes alternately lock together and open as needed to provide increased biting edges that grip the road to provide all-season handling, especially in rain and snow.

For a complete recap of our test, check out "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires."

Why You Need Winter / Snow Tires

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Many people are not convinced of the advantages of winter / snow tires. With traction control, ABS, stability systems and all-wheel drive systems, some drivers think those are enough to get by when weather turns bad. There's no arguing that all of these help the driver, however none of them increase the amount of available traction.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock brakes, commonly referred to as ABS, monitor wheel spin rate during braking for wheel lock up. The vehicle's electronics can then release pressure at each individual corner in order to maintain steering and directional stability on slippery surfaces. A winter tire will delay the intervention of anti-lock brakes by providing more traction before that impending lock up occurs and allows for shorter stopping distances.

Traction Control

This system watches for wheel spin during acceleration. When slip is detected, power is reduced or brakes applied to regain control. Again, much like ABS, having more friction through the use of winter tires will delay this system from stepping in, allowing for quicker acceleration on wintry surfaces.

Stability Systems

This takes the idea of traction control and ABS to the next level. The vehicle's electronics are looking at what it deems to be the intended course, things such as speed, direction, steering input, throttle position, g-forces and more are quickly calculated. When it becomes apparent things are going sideways, the controls already in place for traction and anti-lock brakes step in to try and right the ship. A winter tire, by providing more traction, will keep this system from stepping in for a longer period, again keeping the driver safely in control in more situations.

Four-Wheel and All-Wheel Drive Systems

These systems split the power delivery to front and rear. This takes advantage of the available traction at both ends of the vehicle. The systems do not aid with stopping or turning, which is often overlooked by owners of these vehicles. Additionally, since these vehicles also tend to be larger and heavier, they need more friction to stop and turn. Winter tires provide that additional capability for the stopping and turning, and of course, even more available grip for acceleration.

We have found in our testing that a winter tire can provide up to a 40% increase in available traction. Just imagine what your high tech traction usage aids can do with that! Still not convinced? Then read "Are Front-Wheel Drive and All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving?"

Why Won't My Tires Work in the Snow?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

A majority of drivers on the road utilize a single set of tires for year-round use. As the winter season is approaching, some will discover a severe lack of traction. Why is this?

Let's start with the most surprising of possibilities, you could have a set of summer tires installed on your vehicle. This is a very popular set-up when purchasing a European vehicle. We are even seeing some performance vehicles manufactured in the United States coming to market this way, for example, the Ford Focus ST and Chevrolet Camaro SS. It can be a real shocker the first time you head out on a damp, cool morning to find yourself going sideways through a roundabout. A summer tire can lose upwards of 40% of its grip in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another possibility can come from simple wear and tear. In order to achieve what many will feel is acceptable snow traction, you need a tire with tread depth over 5/32". To put this in perspective, most all-season tires start at 10/32". Wet traction diminishes around the 4/32" mark and tires are considered legally worn out at 2/32". If your tires were working last year, there's a chance they could not do as well this year. To learn more about the proper tread depths to handle weather conditions, read "When Should I Replace My Tires?"

Lastly, new vehicles are coming with wider tires. Wider isn't your friend when it comes to snow traction. The wide tires are dispersing the weight over a broader area (less pounds of weight per square inch) and the tires are in effect floating on the snow. How do you fix this? Minus Sizing helps you during the winter months because it combines taller profile tires with smaller diameter wheels to help with snow traction. When purchasing your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, choose a narrower tire. For additional help selecting the proper winter / snow tire, take a look at "What are the Different Types of Winter / Snow Tires."

The Best Performance All-Season Tire We Ever Tested?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

The new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, which replaces the Pilot Sport A/S Plus, has hit our test track and made quite an impression. Recently, we tested the tire against the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season and Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position. Our test used the Y-speed rated model, however W-, H- and V-speed rated options are also available.

Michelin set out to minimize the performance trade-offs that have been typical of all-season tires up to this point. On the road, it really does give the confident feel of a summer tire, instead of that slight sense of indecision that plagues some all-season options.

On the track, Michelin has reset the bar by delivering precise dry handling and incredible wet traction. The tire's handling prowess stood out from the others with excellent ultimate traction, precision and very good composure with driving at the limit. This tire was so good during our test it tempted us to carry a little too much speed through the corners. It continued to hang on well even with a little too much slip angle, but begins to show some rapid treadwear when pushed too hard.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 - Can It Set a New Performance Benchmark for All-Season Tires?"

Buying Winter / Snow Tires and Wheels Can Save You Money

Friday, September 27, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

There is no question a dedicated winter / snow tire dramatically increases your vehicle's traction in snow and on ice. While it can be an investment to equip your vehicle with a winter set-up, it by no mean leads to a higher cost of ownership.

First, two sets of tires will reduce the frequency of replacement since the mileage is divided amongst the sets of tires. To further lower costs, a Tire & Wheel Package will eliminate the need to pay an installer to mount and balance your tires with each change. To properly install your investments, read "How to Install Your Tire & Wheel Package." It only takes minutes to install your tire and wheels, so not only do you save money by doing the work yourself, it's extremely convenient to do the work in your own garage.

With the purchase of a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, you will receive the following at no additional charge:

  • Free scratchless mounting
  • Free Hunter Road Force balancing using non-lead weights
  • All necessary hardware (lugs, center caps, centering lugs, etc.) per application
  • TPMS sensors that are purchased as part of the package are installed free of charge as well

When the weather changes, be ready with a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.

Steel Wheels for the Ford F-150

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

We Black Rock 937 Type have recently added a winter steel wheel option for the best-selling vehicle in America, the Ford F-150. We offer the wheel for many trim levels starting with 2004. In fact, we have two options for drivers to choose from for their F-150.

The basic option is a plain steel wheel that you can pair with a wheel cover. Basic models are very limited and start at $74* per wheel. Black Rock's 937 Type 8P Steel is a two piece welded construction that comes with a center cap. It's available in a 17" rim diameter with the option to choose different center caps.

To view all wheel options for your Ford F-150, shop by vehicle

*Prices subject to change

Expanded Steel Wheel Offerings at Tire Rack

Thursday, September 12, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

One of the most requested items during the colder months is steel wheels for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. While we attempt to cover as much of the demand as possible, unfortunately as more new vehicles are standard equipped with alloy wheels, the availability of a steel wheel has become difficult over the years. There's some good news as we have been able to add some steelies for vehicles we have previously been unable to accommodate. Also, remember that while steel wheels provide basic styling, you can update the look with a set of wheel covers. Steel wheels are now available for the following vehicles starting in the winter of 2013:

  • 2008 and newer Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2009 and newer Dodge Journey
  • 2011 and newer Jeep Wrangler

To discover if we have steel wheels for your specific car, start by shopping by vehicle. This process will present tires first, followed by the option to view available wheels, including steel wheels (if applicable), for your application. 

What are the Different Types of Winter / Snow Tires?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

When it comes to choosing your next set of winter / snow tires for a passenger vehicle, you'll choose an option from one of three performance categories.

  • Studdable Winter / Snow - Tires in this category are designed to accept an optional metal stud to enhance ice traction. Drivers can run these tires without the studs and they tend to be a very good snow solution, however become a bit more challenged on icy surfaces. When the studs are added, ice traction is improved at the expense of noise level. Because studded tires damage road surfaces, many states restrict them to wintertime use or prohibit them entirely. Check with your local authorities to confirm legality.
     
  • Studless Ice & Snow - This category is created for the tire that really delivers in the harshest of winter conditions. Designed as a friendlier alternative to studded solutions, we like to say they make driving in snow feel like driving in the rain. These tires meet challenging winter driving conditions by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs.
     
  • Performance Winter / Snow - These tires will trade some deep snow and ice traction to gain better clear, open-road capabilities. Originally designed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads, this category is an ideal solution for areas with cold temperatures and less snow.
General Altimax Arctic - studdable winter
General AltiMAX Arctic - Studdable Winter / Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice and Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice & Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 - Performance Winter
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 - Performance Winter / Snow


Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire options available for your application.

What Tire Pressure Should I Be Using?

Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

An area of confusion for many of us is, "What's the correct air pressure for my tires?" Using the correct air pressure delivers many benefits, including performance and fuel economy. During the rotation of the tire, heat is generated, especially when the leading edge of the tread makes initial contact with the road (deflection). Having too much deflection, for example, an underinflated tire, will create more heat during deflection. This can result in premature failure of the tire. It will also negatively impact steering response and stability while cornering. On the other hand, an overinflated tire exhibits non-desired behaviors as well. Most noticeable would be a harsher ride and an increased risk of tire damage when hitting a pothole. Additionally, the contact patch of an overinflated tire is smaller, which will reduce traction and handling. For a better understanding, read "Air Pressure - Correct, Underinflated and Overinflated."

Where is that sweet spot? There are a couple areas that I see confusion set in when dealing with this topic. The first is that the tire sidewall will state something similar to (see photo below): "Max Load 3195 lbs at 65 psi."

This is telling you the maximum load capacity and air pressure the tire can hold. This is not telling you what air pressure to run, rather it's stating what air pressure not to exceed.

The second area of confusion comes when an alternate tire size is being used. I like to explain this as the air pressure is a volume measurement. As such, you must take into account the volume of the air chamber inside the tire. When a proper plus size is done, you should end up with a very similar sized air chamber. For example, when going from a 17" wheel to an 18" wheel, your tire sidewall will be shorter, but the tire will be wider. Therefore, the net volume loss is near zero.  You can read about plus sizing in my previous blog "Plus 1 Plus 2 Equals What?"

Your vehicle dictates air pressure. The mechanical engineers that spent millions designing your vehicle, take everything into consideration. Things like ride comfort, handling and most importantly, how much load capacity the vehicle needs to operate safely. They then print up the door placard and often place it on the driver side door. Again, the tire does not know what vehicle it ends up on, so the tire can't tell you what pressure to use.

I Just Blew Out a Tire on My AWD Vehicle, Do I Have to Replace All Four Tires?

Friday, August 23, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

All-wheel drive vehicles offer advantages for traction especially in wet and snowy conditions over traditional two-wheel drive models. Unfortunately, since all four wheels are connected, a single blow out or non-repairable puncture can become an expensive proposition. When you install a new full tread depth tire with other tires that have less than the new, an overall diameter difference occurs. Different diameters result in different spin rates. A shorter tire must rotate more times to go the same distance as a taller tire. You can do an experiment to demonstrate this with a quarter and a penny. When rolling these two coins, you'll see the penny requires more rotations to keep up with the quarter. This variance in rotation speeds will result in resistance in the drive line and will generate heat which can lead to premature failure of major drive line components.

Is there an alternative to replacing all four tires? Absolutely, we offer a tire shaving service where we shave your new tire to match the tread depth of your remaining three tires. The cost of our tire shaving service ranges between $25 and $35 per tire and is significantly less than the cost of replacing the other tires on your vehicle that still have lots of mileage left in them.

For more information on this service, read "Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles."

I Have a Staggered Vehicle, Can I Go Back to a Square Set-Up?

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

The industry's trend of offering vehicles with different size tires in the front and rear (staggered) continues. This can be a frustration point for some unsuspecting consumers. First, tire choices can be fewer than hoped when trying to find two different sizes that match in the same brand. Second, prices on the larger rear pair can be more than expected. Third, tire rotations are either non-existent or limited to a side-to-side scheme.

What are your options besides staying with the staggered set-up? One option is to square up the vehicle. This is very common when running a dedicated Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. In most cases, this can be accomplished as the front and rear size difference lies in the width only, and not the height. Therefore, by simply using the front size on the rear, or possibly an intermediate size, you accomplish this goal.  

There are some things to watch out for before venturing down this road. You must make sure it is in fact only a difference in width. If there's a significant difference in height, you will not want to square up. This could cause the vehicle's electronic systems, such as ABS and traction control, to become confused.

The second thing to consider is the rims' widths of your wheels and whether or not the narrower tire will fit on the wider rear wheel. If not, there may be an intermediate size that will work on both the front and rear wheel widths.

You can get a tire's overall diameter and rim width ranges from our website by checking the "Specs" page for the tires you're interested in. The widths of your current wheels may require a conversation with the dealer.

For more information on properly rotating your staggered or squared set-up, read "Tire Rotation Instructions."

Are You Looking to Graduate from Your BMW Run-Flat Tires?

Friday, August 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

BMW has a long standing preference of equipping their vehicles with run-flat tires. The benefit of not being stuck on the side of the road with a flat is attractive to a few people. However, the majority feel there may be a compromise in ride quality, noise levels and performance.

Is moving away from run-flats right for you? Since most vehicles with run-flats do not have spares, you must be comfortable with the possibility of having to call a tow truck in the event of a flat tire. If this is beyond your comfort level, you must stay with the run-flat solution. In this case, you should check to see if the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT is available for your vehicle. I believe this tire to be the best run-flat option in the marketplace today.

When talking with customers, many will ask if their original wheels can still be used with non-run-flat tires. They most certainly can!  With some exceptions, such as the PAX system from Honda, your factory original wheel will safely accept a non-run-flat tire. If making the switch to non-run-flats, the installer will need run-flat capable equipment to remove the original tires.

If you decide switching from run-flat tires is the route you'd like to go, consider the following three options.


Michelin Pilot Super
Sport

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology


Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your BMW.

17" Alternate Size for the Dodge Journey

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Is your Dodge Journey equipped with 19" tires? Then take a look at alternate sizing options by reading "Tire Alternatives and Options for Your Dodge Journey."

Since I wrote that blog post, I have been asked about different tire size options for the 225/65R17-equipped Journey. For this particular model, I would suggest looking at 235/65R17 as an optional size. These will be about a half-inch wider and taller. What this does is open up some different top-rated tires to install on your Dodge Journey. 

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Sumitomo HTR A/S P01
Sumitomo HTR
A/S P01
Firestone Destination A/T
Firestone Destination
A/T


If you're looking for a tire that offers a quiet ride and comes with a long treadlife warranty, take a look at the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring. It combines independent shoulder blocks with notched intermediate and center ribs to blend dry and wet road traction and handling. The tire's internal construction includes a super shock absorbent Comfort Layer of rubber sandwiched between the tread and steel belts to insulate vibration and impacts with expansion joints, potholes and bumps. 

To really step up the wet and dry performance for more spirited drivers, the High Performance All-Season Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 is worth a look. The tire uses Sumitomo's high-tech materials and manufacturing methods to blend high performance with year-round traction, including light snow.

Are you looking to do some off-road driving? Then consider Firestone's Destination A/T. It's designed to meet the needs of drivers who desire the look and performance needed for on- and off-road driving. Destination A/T tires are designed to blend an all-terrain tread design with a comfortable ride.

Regardless of your driving style, shop by size and view all 235/65R17 tires.

Tire Aging: How Old is Too Old?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

The life span of a tire can vary greatly depending on how it is used. Contrary to popular belief, infrequently used tires can result in a shorter life than one that is used daily. As such, I frequently speak with people with low-mileage tires that need to be replaced. Of course they are disappointed, as most people relate tire life to number of miles driven. However, rubber needs to be exercised to remain in top condition. Sitting around for extended periods of time, then being asked to go into full service can result in flatspotting (both temporary and permanent), as well as cracking. This is more likely to happen when the tires remain mounted on a vehicle and sitting idle with the vehicle weight on them, as opposed to stored off the vehicle.  

Many trailer tires take the worst of it. A typical boat trailer or camper is used a couple times a year. The rest of the time they sit around with the weight of the camper or boat on them. Even worse, is sitting through a tough winter in the backyard or outdoor storage facility. Then you hook it up to the back of the family vehicle and hit the road at highway speeds. 

What does the industry say about tire aging? Our experience has been that when properly stored and cared for, most street tires have a useful life in service of between six to ten years. The in-use time starts as soon as the tire is exposed to the elements. For example, your under the truck bed mounted spare is considered in use. Do you have a spare sitting on the back of your Jeep? That's consider in use, too. You can check the production date of your tire very easily to see how old it is. Read "How Old Are the Tires I Buy?" for more details.

Have your tires been in use for longer than they should be? Are you ready for a new set? Shop by vehicle and find a great replacement option for your car.

Finding the Best Brake Rotors

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

We offer a number of rotor options, including plain, slotted and drilled. Take a look at the differences between each option and determine which style is right for your vehicle.

Most vehicles come with a plain rotor from the factory. If you have been happy with the performance of your factory brakes, take a look at the product line from Centric. Their rotors will perform on a slightly better level in regards to heat dissipation. They also feature a rust inhibitor on the hat and through the venting to keep them looking nice.  

Does your brake pedal feel spongy? This can be caused by gases building up on the rotor face that prevent the pad from connecting quickly and firmly with the rotor. If your car is experiencing this, I would consider the StopTech Sport Slotted Rotor or SportStop Drilled Rotor. This will push those gases out of the way to allow a firmer contact between the pad and rotor. Another factor for this issue is when air or moisture get in the brake lines. To treat, you may want to consider changing your brake fluid and/or bleeding the system.

What happens if I have a vibration in the steering wheel when I apply the brakes? This most likely is the result of a warped rotor. It can happen when excessive heat builds up or a hot rotor quickly cools down. For example, after repeated braking, the rotor is run through a puddle of water. The single best defense against warping is a cryo-treated rotor

Shop by vehicle to find the best brake products for your application.

What Are the Best Replacement Tires and Size for the Honda Fit Sport?

Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Time for new tires on your beloved Honda Fit Sport? The Original Equipment tires in the 185/55R16 size were available with two options, the Bridgestone Turanza EL470 and Dunlop SP Sport 7000 A/S. These tires, however, didn't fare all that well in our customer survey results. With that in mind, consider the following offerings in the 205/50R16 size. This size is only .1" taller and about 3/4" wider than the original size. It'll mount on to the factory wheel and fit without rubbing or any fitment issue.

In this alternate size you will have options ranging from Passenger All-Season to summer performance tires. To gain an understanding of the differences between tires, read "What Tire Performance Category Do I Need?"


General AltiMAX HP

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Fuzion Touring


The General AltiMAX HP features a directional tread pattern for better wet grip and comes with a 55,000-mile treadlife warranty. Developed to be a smarter tire for smarter drivers, the AltiMAX HP addresses many treadwear quality and year-round traction challenges faced by the drivers of today's sports sedans and coupes. Always attractively priced, the tire is a great bang for your buck.

Continental's ExtremeContact DWS is designed to satisfy year-round driving needs by blending dry and wet road performance with light snow and slush traction. Customers love the tire as it has been ranked number one in the Ultra High Performance All-Season category for quite some time. The tire receives high marks in hydroplaning resistance, wet traction and dry performance, however the thing that sets this tire apart from the rest is its ratings in snow and on ice.

Affordably priced, the Fuzion Touring blends good treadwear, a quiet ride and all-season traction on dry and wet roads. Ranked just outside the top ten in the Grand Touring All-Season category, the tire receives excellent marks in most categories.

View all 205/50R16 sized tires and choose the one that's best for how and where you drive your Honda Fit Sport.

In Search of the Best All-Season Tires

Thursday, June 6, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Everyone has their own list of important attributes when it comes to selecting the right all-season tire. For example, some drivers prefer longer treadlife, while another thinks ride quality is the most important. Also, when talking to customers about all-season tires, most put extra emphasis on the winter season component.

If you prefer using one set of tires all year, the best tire can vary depending on where other tire characteristics rank. In some cases, the vehicle and tire size needed can also help direct us towards a particular performance category. For a look at the differences between performance categories, read "What Tire Performance Category Do I Need?"


Goodyear Assurance
TripleTred All-Season

Goodyear Assurance
ComforTred Touring

Firestone Destination
LE 2


Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season (Passenger All-Season)

With three distinct tread zones targeting to provide traction in dry, wet and snowy conditions, Goodyear has a winning combination that earns top marks from our customers. Designed with Goodyear's Evolving Traction Grooves, the tire generates more rain, slush and snow traction longer into the tire's life compared to tires with conventional sipes. The tire is currently ranked number one in our tire survey results.

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring (Grand Touring All-Season)

For the touring/performance car, the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring is receiving high praise from drivers. With tread warranties in the 70,000 to 80,000-mile range, this tire is definitely worth a second look. With tread depth being a key component to snow traction, customers indicate this tire has strong performance throughout the life of the tire. This Goodyear tire currently has over four million miles reported, which includes over four winter seasons.  

Firestone Destination LE 2 (Highway All-Season)

For your SUV or pick-up truck, the recently revised Firestone Destination LE 2 is king of the category. While there hasn't been many miles reported on this tire, the Destination family of tires has been providing great options to drivers for years.

Michelin Once Again Dominates the One Lap of America in 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Tire Rack is proud to have continued our title sponsorship of this year's One Lap of America event. One Lap consists of 17 timed events over 8 days. In total, competitors traveled over 3,400 in just over a week. It is a true test of endurance and performance

For the third year in a row, the overall winner's vehicle was equipped with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. The Super Sport has been on the winning vehicle since it was introduced to the market in the spring of 2011. As the 30th running of this extreme challenge for driving enthusiasts, this year's competition featured many of America's fastest street-legal cars. View results for the 2013 event here.

If you're in the market for the best of the best in wet and dry traction performance, check out the Pilot Super Sport. It has proven its worth not only in the One Lap competition, but also in our testing and feedback from customers. The tire is the top-ranked option in the Max Performance Summer category. After reading a few of our customers' comments, you'll understand why:

"Quite honestly the BEST tire I have ever had on my cars." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX.

"These tires have oooogles of mega grip, even wet. I am going to need a new seat with harness just to stay in the seat." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Also, when you buy a set of four Michelin Pilot Super Sports before June 18, 2013, you can receive a $70 MasterCard Reward Card.